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Friday, February 24, 2017

Examining the Real Cost of Donald Trump's Wall

Credit: Photo by Gino Santa Maria
Picture of Donald Trump during his US Presidential election campaign

A look at how much building Trump's controversial wall on the US-Mexico border would actually cost, and what the American electorate really thinks of it

When Donald Trump first announced his desire to run for the Republican presidential candidacy, very few people took his political ambitions seriously. Few political commentators thought Trump would garnish enough support to make his campaign credible, either from the Republican party itself or from the American electorate. Fast forward to the last quarter of 2016, and Donald Trump is officially the Republican candidate, where his is pitted against Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton.

Ever since the start of his campaign for Presidency, Trump has promoted a xenophobic immigration policy, in particular targeting Mexicans who is has referred to as 'killers', 'rapists' and 'drug dealers'. Among his numerous controversial policies, Trump has suggested banning all Muslims from entering the United States, promoted an 'extreme' vetting procedure for immigrants and - perhaps his most jaw dropping policy - building a 1,000 mile wall on the US border with Mexico.

Trump's wall has been a fundamental element of his campaign, and despite wide international condemnation it has garnished a huge amount of support from the Republican electorate. So much support in fact that the wall has become a central policy in Trump's election campaign, and he has since stated that, if elected, he would 100% intend to build the wall. Not only that, but he has also stated that he will make Mexico pay for its construction - a claim that has been categorically denied by the Mexican government.

Given Trump's insistence that he would build his wall, many thoughts have turned to the logistics and cost of such a mammoth construction project. When asked how much his wall would cost, Trump initially suggested it would be around $8 billion, an estimate he later raised to $12 billion. But how realistic is this estimate?

According to a recent infographic from Real Money, the actual cost of Trump's wall would be closer to $25 billion, and this doesn't include land acquisition or the maintenance of the wall over time. The infographic, which is included below, also suggests that support for the wall is surprisingly high among the US electorate, with an incredible 38% of the US public backing construction of the wall:



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